Women’s rights

A new safety hub has opened in Mt Barker to provide information and support to women experiencing domestic violence. It will be largely staffed by volunteers, including, clockwise from left, Jane Henderson, Sherree Ferrell, Jill Lawson and Tarmia Klass.

The opening of a dedicated centre in Mt Barker to cater for women suffering from domestic violence is a sad reflection on modern Australian society.
It also proves that, as much as we like to think they are, the leafy suburbs and towns of the Hills are not immune to this ugly scourge sweeping the nation.
The level of violence suffered in the home by Hills women at the hands of their partners or former partners is not precisely known but the broader statistics are horrific.
An average of one woman a week is killed in such altercations across Australia.
If those statistics related to shark attacks or light plane crashes it would be front and centre of the national debate.
For every woman murdered by her partner in a fit of rage there are hundreds more beaten, humiliated, abused and tormented.
Perhaps this insidious issue has been bubbling away below the surface for decades – or even longer – and the true level of its prevalence has only been unmasked by women now having the courage and the opportunity to speak out and seek support.
This is overwhelmingly a male problem.
It is hard to fathom how a man thinks it is his right to belt, bash, rape or dominate his partner.
Where did this thinking come from and why are so many men unable or unwilling to control their emotions?
The horror felt by so many women trapped in these violent and controlling relationships, many so fearful of their lives and those of their children they are unable to escape, is difficult to fathom.
The opening of service hubs in ‘neutral’ places such as community centres as has happened in Mt Barker is an excellent way to disseminate help and information.
But for all the assistance given to fleeing women, the nub of the problem remains with men.
Until men change their behavior the issue will be a significant blight on what we consider to be a modern, wealthy and sophisticated society.